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Program Planners Section

We are so proud to announce our Adult Programmers Best Practices Manual!

Click HERE to access the Manual

If you are program planning for libraries, especially in MA, you will find this Program Planning Manual to be an invaluable resource. The mission of the committee was to provide an adaptable roadmap for program planners working in libraries serving all communities. In the manual, topics are broken down into these broad categories, with many links for additional information: 

Part 1: Know your Community

Part 2: Developing Programs

Part 3: Working with Performers

Part 4: Managing Programs

Part 5: DEI

Part 6: Getting the Word Out

Part 7: Resources

One of the aspects that we are most excited and proud of is the list of library calendar links throughout the state. It is an easy tool to find programming ideas from libraries across the commonwealth.

We also know that programming is fluid and information changes quickly so our disclaimer is that this is a broad overview and not inclusive of every aspect of library programming. 

This manual was a 2 year effort by our Program Planners Warrior Sub-Committee and a top priority for us when we started the Program Planners Section in 2021. We thank Ellen Meyers, Chair of the sub-committee, and her team for their tireless efforts in getting this manual together.



To champion and advance the practice of Program Planning statewide by means of, but not limited to: providing educational opportunities and resources to libraries, librarians, and all library workers; creating a cohesive statewide database of shared programming resources, tools, and policies; sharing best practices for in-library, out of library, and virtual events; and finding creative ways to connect the broadest range of community members with our library programs and services.


MLA Program Planners Section Virtual Adult Performer's Showcase - Thursday, January 26, 2023 @ 10am - View the Video!

MLA Program Planners Section Virtual Teen Performer's Showcase - Tuesday, February 21, 2023 @ 10am - View the Video!

MLA Program Planners Section Virtual Childrens Performer's Showcase - Thursday, March 16, 2023 @ 1pm - View the Video!


Our Executive Board Committee

Our Committee Chairs

Robert Hayes - Chair
Tewksbury Public Library
Community Outreach Librarian & Head of Technical Services
Favorite Program: organizing the Annual Tewksbury Human Library event as a safe way for people to confront conscious and unconscious prejudices & stereotypes they may have about other members of their community

Vice Chair - Open Position

Meena Jain -  Past Chair
Ashland Public Library
Library Director
Favorite Program: Virtual Romance Panel on the appeals of 80's bodice rippers in the Me, Too Era (2020, link to recording)

Lara Vilahomat - Secretary
Framingham Public Library

Treasurer - Open Position

Ona Ridenour - Past Treasurer

Beverly Public Library
Head of Communications
Favorite Program: The Typewriter Project, a collaboration with Montserrat College of Art. An exhibit of typewriter-themed art with a performance by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra.

Betsy Perry - Conference Committee Liaison
Conant Library
Favorite program: Dissecting owl pellets

Emily Toombs - DEI Liaison
Framingham Public Library

Kira Bingemann - Adult Programming Chair 

Ellen Meyers - Best Practices (aka Program Planning Warriors) Chair
Newton Free Library
Programs and Communications
Favorite program: I couldn't possibly pick one program though those that contribute to the greater good and focus on anti-racism, climate change and equity/inclusion, are high on the list.

Warriors Committee Members

Kira Williams Bingeman (David & Joyce Milne Public Library)

Reni Cunningham (Concord Free Public Library)

Robert Hayes (Tewksbury Public Library)

Meena Jain (Ashland Public Library)

Erin Redihan (Princetown Public Library, emeritus)

Meg McFarland (Newton Free Library)

Ellen Meyers (Newton Free Library, Subcommittee Chair)

Kerry O’Donnell (Somerville Public Library)

Stefani Traina (Memorial Hall Library, retired)

Debora Hoffman (Waltham Public Library, emeritus)

Darshana Merchant and Ruby Vail
LIS Student Liaisons
Moving to Membership

Other Open Committee Positions

PR Committee Chair

Statewide Database/Technology Chair

Donations for Support of LIS Students

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MLA PPS: Up, Close and Personal
Learn how the Massachusetts Library Association Program Planners Section works
Thank you to all the LIS students who applied for MLA PPS sponsorship. We had a wonderful year with our 3 LIS students and look forward to working with the Membership committee in future years. 

MLA Program Planners Section is proud to launch a new initiative called MLA PPS: Up, Close and Personal. Our vision is to ensure that the current LIS students have the opportunity to engage with MLA and Program Planners Section, to learn, and network with current LIS students and professionals, and begin their journeys as professional librarians.


    • Current LIS students will have the opportunity to network with other library professionals and understand how the Program Planners Section works. They will also get a chance to work closely with Committee Chairs and Liaisons. They will be able to participate in Section meetings to network with other professionals and learn about new trends in library programs.
    • Other benefits include, a paid one-year membership to MLA, and paid registration for the annual MLA 2023 conference.


    • A one year commitment is expected. Selected candidates are expected to attend two or three PPS meetings.


    • The MLA PPS will be selecting two LIS students for the year 2022-23. This is subject to change based on the funding. One of the spots is reserved for LIS students identifying with the BIPOC community.
    • Students are required to submit an application online (Link provided at the bottom of the message). The application deadline is October 1, 2022. Once the applications are received, the LIS Liaisons, along with the MLA PPS Executive Board will select two candidates, one of which would be from the BIPOC community. We will let the candidates know in a timely manner the result of their application.
    • Selected candidates will have an orientation session with LIS Liaisons to further explain the program details.


    • The students must be living or working in Massachusetts. Students must be enrolled in an ALA accredited MLS or MLIS program. We are particularly seeking candidates who are interested in program planning in the libraries.

If you have any questions, please contact LIS Liaisons Darshana Merchant at or Ruby Vail at

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P.O. Box 901 Bellingham | MA 02019

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